Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Iron Inside

I don't know if you're wondering why I've been so quiet about politics lately. I've been wondering. My feelings about resistance haven't changed; if anything, they've hardened. But I've also watched myself fall quiet. Still, I think there's a difference between quiet and silence. Quiet connotes watchfulness. Silence connotes stifling, and I have not been stifled.

Last week, during my trip north, my friend Angela was pondering her feelings about this moment in time . . . what she described as a detachment, not a side-effect of cynicism or carelessness but more like having the flu: a sense of watching oneself watch the world. I know what she means. There is so much to fear, so much to hate, so much to dread. I feel as if I am waiting for a 10,000-pound anvil to drop. And the waiting becomes a version of breathing, a heartbeat, a tremor.

Many of my acquaintances are busily telephoning their senators, and planning marches, and sharing news flashes, and writing incendiary Facebook posts. I have attempted to take part in this, though I can't tell if it matters. But the resistance I feel--the iron inside--is a weight of tension and stillness. A coil, perhaps. I don't know where its force will drive me. 

Yet I do know that quiet does not equal apathy. Quiet does not equal surrender. I do know that waiting may also be watching, and that watching is what truth seekers do. The weight will spring.


Carlene said...

Thank you. You've (again) articulated what I could not find words for.

Ruth said...

Yes, thank you. Your words describe how I feel as well.